Meet the Editors: Ashley Stajura

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Ashley Stajura

Hello, readers! This post is a little late but perfect reading material for a Sunday! This week’s editor is Ashley Stajura.

Ashley Stajura is a junior majoring in illustration with a double minor in creative writing and women’s studies at Lewis University. When she isn’t working in the women’s studies department, she enjoys bettering her art and writing skills, digital photography, and exploring the local forests.

Ashley hopes to one day illustrate her own comics within the horror or fantasy genre. She loves to read in her free time, and from a young age has been inspired by the fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien and the thrill of Stephen King. She believes that their work has positively influenced her love of literature and her future today.

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?

My name is Ashley Stajura and I am the Assistant Layout Editor and one of the two Art & Design Editors.

What book might we find on your nightstand right now?

I love anything within the horror, fantasy, and drama genres, so all my books vary widely. Some of my favorites include The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, the Welcome to Night Vale novel based on the podcast by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I’ve always been a huge fan of Shakespeare, and Hamlet was always my favorite. I actually have three copies of it. I even have some comic books on my nightstand as well, specifically Lumberjanes by Grace Ellis.

If you had the chance to co-write with one author, who would you choose? Why?

This is such a hard question, but I have to choose George R.R. Martin. I adore fantasy and though I have not finished reading Martin’s series Game of Thrones, I would love to write an adventure novel with one of the most prominent fantasy writers of our time. It would be great to collaborate with such a brilliant mind; it would really help me to grow as a writer and even as an illustrator.

Describe your perfect reading atmosphere.            

Normally I prefer to read a book while covered in blankets on my bed. Some people like noise, but I like complete silence so I can focus on the adventure. If I could read absolutely anywhere and under any condition, I would want to be out in the forest. I would find a nice, cozy spot under a tree where I could spread a blanket down to sit. There would be a gentle breeze, it would be autumn, and I would have all the time in the world.

What might your personal library look like?

My personal library is a little out of control. Over the summer I attempted to tidy it up and even, sadly, part ways with a few old books. If anything, my little library became even more out of control, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Picture of Dorian Gray, a large amount of Dean Koontz, and even multiple copies of Beowulf, The Hobbit, and Hamlet.

If you could “re-make” a poorly written movie that was based on a book, what movie would it be?

Though I loved The Hobbit movie trilogy, I was both upset and happy they made the book into three films. It was nice to see a short book be drawn out before the series came to a close. What really upset me though was how they portrayed certain characters within the third movie. I won’t spoil anything but Fili and Kili just seemed rushed in the last film, and the unnecessary love interest (who wasn’t even in the book) seemed silly. If I could remake it, I would want to make characters more accurate, but I would be fine with the actors cast.

What piece of literature can you reread over and over again?

I love The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It may sound silly but I always felt like I was a part of the story. When I was little, my mom read me The Hobbit and the other Lord of the Rings books, and throughout my childhood it just became who I was. I would sing the little songs written in The Hobbit to annoy my mother for hours on end, I wrote a fan letter to Elijah Wood which my mom secretly wrote back to me as him to make my year (only recently did I connect the dots), I have a huge poster of Frodo in my room, and I even went as Frodo for Halloween when I was younger. The list could go on for quite a while, concluding with me having my high school graduation party inspired by Hobbiton with fake hairy-feet sandals and receiving the “One Ring” as the best gift ever.

Give us a quote from your favorite (or any) book/movie.

“The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,”

— Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

If you were invited to have coffee with any fictional character, who would you most like to meet? Why?

I would love to sit down with Brienne of Tarth. I think she’s such a strong willed, powerful, and internally beautiful woman. I feel in literature, at least within things I have read or watched, the viewer is not always presented with a strong woman warrior, and it just inspires me to better myself to be as strong and dedicated as Brienne.

Share your top five favorite pieces of writing (anything included, be it movies, books, etc.).

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  3. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  4. The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe
  5. Dragon Age Inquisition (though it is a video game, the character development, depth of story, and overall writing is impressive to say the least)

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Join us next week for another editor!

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